THERE'S plenty of health advice on the internet about how to achieve your best body, but it’s pretty easy to get lost in an ocean of fake advice.
If you’re going through a bumpy road in your weight loss journey, and you just can’t figure out why the heck you’re not losing those excess fats and flabs, it could be because you’re working based on faulty information that you stumbled upon on some "health site" with tons of pop-ads.
Truth be told, there are a lot of weight loss myths out there, so we’ve gathered the most common ones for you to spot them before you start believing things for no reason. Time to finally shed off those final stubborn pounds with facts.
MYTH 1: Eating less to none is the key to weight loss
Let’s get this out of the way ASAP, and bust this make-believe health tip: starving is not the answer to effective weight loss. What if we told you that eating more is the answer?
Believe it or not, your body actually needs fuel when you’re working out. So, to actually transform your fats into muscle (or lose them completely), you’ll need to eat more. If you’re training too much and taking in too little, your metabolism might even slow down, making it harder for your body to change itself.
Pro tip: It would be better to make sure your meals (and snacks) have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
MYTH 2: Carbs are the enemy
Let’s address the elephant in the room: carbohydrates. Simply put, it’s your body’s main source of fuel. Once you burn through all the carbs in your body, you will burn the fat. BUT that could mean you’re also eating into your muscle. You need muscle to burn energy, so if your muscles are giving up on you, your body will burn less fat, which is exactly NOT what we want!
Pro tip: Just because you’re working out for the day doesn’t mean you have to avoid carbs at night. Carbs are actually friendly for some people to get a better night’s sleep. They also help if you have muscle gain goals. Increase (or decrease) your carb intake according to your needs.
MYTH 3: Plain cardio is the only way to burn fat
If you enjoy a good long distance run, we’re not here to tell you to drop everything and stop it completely. But if you’re regularly having to peel yourself out of bed in the morning for a jog just to shed off pounds, it will do you a world of good by reviewing your exercise routine.
The truth is that there are lots of ways to incorporate movement into your day. For example, incorporating weights and resistance bands is a great way to build strength AND burn fat while you're mopping the floors.
Pro tip: If you don’t want to combine your strength and cardio routines, do your strength training first before you go into cardio for the best results.
MYTH 4: Wreck yourself at the gym every day
In short: STOP PUNISHING YOURSELF! If you’re training hard seven days a week, or only focusing on one part of your body or one form of exercise, you’ll burn out quickly. Get a trainer that makes you work with balance in mind—a mix of strength work and cardio, HIIT and yoga, but also allowing time for rest and recovery. The more stressed your body is, the harder it can be to shift your weight around.
Pro tip: Every once in a while, listen to your body and make sure you give yourself time to rest. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to stop moving completely—if your legs are too tired to run around one day, swap that session out and try lifting weights to build your arms instead. Your body will thank you for changing it up. After all, variety is the key!
MYTH 5: You can’t eat your favorite food
If you think “diet food” is all lettuce without the dressing and some very necessary carrot sticks, you’ve been listening to the wrong fitness advice. What people don’t understand is that a big part of making changes in your body is about keeping to diets and food control that you can stick to—and that means enjoying your life and eating food you swear you can’t live without. But make sure you mix in some healthy food items in there, too.
Pro tip: Let go of the idea that food is either “good” or “bad,” and view foods that don’t pack a nutritional punch as “treats” instead of “cheat” meals. Let’s not put labels on things, okay?